Jung and Kelly

David S. Remmert (straten@interaccess.com)
Sun, 26 Feb 1995 14:58:04 -0600

Dear all,

Allow me to state the general purpose of my interest in developing a
connction between Jung and Kelly. My intention has never been to *fully*
integrate the two theories, I too believe this to be impossible. My
intention is to "build a bridge" between the two in order to demonstrate
their compatability from a theoretical stance. Additionally, I will admit,
my analysis is not limited to Kelly. I intend to use the thoughts and
theories of several neo-Kelly's as well.

That said, I would like to outline some of the areas in which I
recognize this compatability:

Kelly discusses sybolism on p. 138 of A Theory of Personality. He
says, "There is a simpler type of symbolism which does not involve the
invasion of words into the context of a construct...Mother can become the
symbol for social belongingness. Father can become the symbol for maturity.
In most people Mother and Father do represent personal constructs of a much
higher order than their own identities necessitate." Do you see the paralell?

In discussing the Sociality corollary, "...to some extent, our
construction system subsumes the construction systems of others and theirs,
in part, subsume ours. Understanding does not have to be a one-way
proposition; it can be mutual." The implications for archetypes are there,
are they not?

The angle from which I intend to construct this bridge is from the
heirarchical structure of constructs. Kelly proposes a system of sub and
superordinate constructs whereby subordinate constructs are subsumed by
superordinate constructs. The subordinate constructs are permeable and
suseptable to modification but the superordinate constructs are rather fixed
and difficult to change, though any change in a sub-construct would affect
some change in super-construct however minimal that might be. My
contention, open to criticism and revision, is that archetypes represent
highly superordinate constructs under which fall many sub-constructs.
Simply put, an archetype is a constellation of several sub-constructs that
are, further, superordinate to a lower level. This is beyond what Kelly
might have said, I admit, and he almost certainly would disagree with the
contention that these archetypes, or construct constellations, are given a
priori. But my intention is not to link Kelly with Jung exclusively, and
perhaps this has been deceptive. I intend to use, on the cognitive
dimension, Kelly, Kegan, Lakoff and Johnson, Bruner, and Varela, Thompson,
and Rosch. I appologize for any confusion this might have caused, but it
has fostered a quite interesting discussion so I feel I am justified :)

Again, I would not contend that Jung and Kelly are completely
integrate-able. Nor would I contend that they were speaking of the same
thing on different levels of theoretical abstraction. My interest is
exploring the points of commonality *and* departure. My intent is to
develop a construct under which the two can meet and not be talking about
dogs and cats.

A | False Gods are so fulfilling... E
R David S. Remmert | A God of our own deception A
T straten@interaccess.com | A ritual of wishful worship R
H CSPP |A man dying at the hands of his own T
E Chicago, IL | faith H
A | I never felt whole until I held a E
R | False God A
T | I never felt so empty when He held R
H | Me T